10 Ways to Plan a Gorgeous & Sustainable Wedding
Calling all earth lovers who want to plan a Sustainable Wedding!
Sustainable weddings continue to be a big trend, as couples are seeking to do their bit for the planet too when planning their wedding! Fortunately, there are a great number of suppliers like me, who are earth lovers too, so my top tip is to put your money where your heart is and look for suppliers who share your belief.
I believe that weddings don’t have to be wasteful and that couples shouldn’t feel pressured into have a zero-impact wedding either. It is totally achievable to include a few thoughtful, eco-friendly ideas, without compromising on the things you love – a beautiful invitation suite, gorgeous florals and centrepieces and a stunning ring. Here’s are ten ways on how to do it…
1. the invitations
The invitation suite is the first thing that your guests see, which creates their first impressions of your Big Day, so most couples don’t want to skimp on this tradition. Whilst some couples do choose to go entirely paperless for their wedding, there are other options for those that do want a physical invitation! Flamboyant Invites offers invitation suites printed onto sustainable papers and using eco-friendly print inks. By choosing my print companies carefully, in turn ensures that I can offer sustainable stationery to my clients too.
I am also happy to work with my clients to make their stationery work harder, by creating double-sided items which perform different functions. On the day items could include personalised menus, so that you don’t need a separate place card, and creating signage to keep guests informed on the day, instead of printing multiple programmes for your guests.
Perhaps the best part is that Flamboyant Invites plants a tree with every order, as my gift to honour your marriage and future lives together. One Tree Planted is an environmental charity dedicated to tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity and helping reforestation around the world.. all by planting trees! Each of my clients is gifted a tree through @onetreeplanted and what better way to begin married life together, knowing that your love is helping to shape our future too, one tree at a time!
2. make use of rental companies
It is better to rent, than to buy and then bin, unless of course you’re going to incorporate those items into your home after the wedding. There are so many rental companies out there with gorgeous tableware, glassware, props and furniture that you’ll truly be spoilt for choice AND will find a company which suits your budget. By picking one that is local to your venue will help to reduce your carbon footprint too.
The main tips to remember here are to shop local and seasonal, where possible, and to avoid the use of floral foam because it is toxic and does not biodegrade. Luckily there are many florists out there who use chicken wire and other imaginative and eco-friendly materials with which to create their floral displays. Some couples may choose to rent faux florals, whilst others may use potted plants to style their wedding, which can also be given away as gifts, or taken home afterwards. Couples who prefer cut flowers could choose to donate their flowers to places like nursing homes and hospices, so that their flowers can be enjoyed by others after the big day. Also, for the all important confetti shot, you can use real petal or biodegradable confetti, ribbon wands or bubbles to celebrate the newly-weds – just ensure that bubble pots and wands are recyclable.
4. sustainable bridal labels
When it comes to the Dress, choosing a brand or designer who is known to work with only sustainable and ethically sourced fabrics is a good way to go. Alternatively, you could opt for a vintage wedding dress, or source a second hand one and repurpose it! For the bridesmaids, you might consider specifying a colour range and allowing your bride tribe to pick their own dresses. This way, they are more likely to wear their dresses again, rather than it being a one-time wear!
When it comes to choosing your ring, you could go vintage (or create something modern from the gemstones of a vintage ring or piece of jewellery). Alternatively you might opt for a conflict-free/ ethical jeweller, or lab-grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are identical to those found in the earth, but have been created in a lab, rather than mined. Diamond mining is notoriously damaging to the environment and energy intensive, so by going lab-grown, you are choosing for a more ethical and environmentally friendly option.
6. choose a natural setting
You don’t necessarily have to ship in loads of floral and greenery in order to create a wow factor. By choosing an outdoor wedding venue you can utilize the beauty of nature and the great outdoors itself as your backdrop; be it a beautiful garden, glade, woodland or cliff-top setting. Glasshouses also make the perfect indoor venue, where the beautiful planting inside creates all the atmosphere you need, without requiring lots of floral design.
7. go local
By selecting caterers, suppliers and artisans that are local to either your home or venue will help to cut out many of the transportation costs associated with your wedding. Also, by opting for locally sourced foods, you can be certain that your menu hasn’t generated vast numbers of food miles. It’s also a great feeling to shop local and support local businesses!
Finding imaginative ways to create escort cards that can double as favous, such as personalised cookies, or using name tags on potted plants, as part of your table décor, which guests can take home afterwards. Personalised seed packets also make a nice gesture, which actually give back to the environment when planted!
9. look for creative ways to re-use design elements
Florists will often re-use the florals and greenery used in the ceremony room, to add to vases and create table decorations for the wedding reception. Similarly, mini potted plants used in your table decor could be given away as favors to your guests.
10. recycle as much as you can
Whilst the wedding clean-up isn’t the most glamorous thing to think about, you can reduce the amount of waste from your wedding by donating certain things like flowers and possibly food to worthy causes and re-using other things in your home. So far as paper, glass, metal, and plastic waste, you could perhaps speak to your venue and caterer about how they recycle any waste.
For further tips on creating a sustainable wedding, check out my June post: 5 Tips on Planning an Eco-Friendly and Socially Conscious Wedding Featured on the Green Union Weddings Blog, where you can find more eco friendly and ethical wedding ideas
Stationery: Flamboyant Invites
Stationery Styling: Lily and Lavender Events
Tree Planting: One Tree Planted
Wedding Dresses: Sanyukta Shrestha
Ring: Audrey Claude Jewellery
Venue: Loseley Park
Blog: Green Union Weddings